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ISPA warns members may use traffic management during Olympics

Monday, April 23rd 2012 by Cable.co.uk
Broadband traffic management 'may be adopted during London 2012'

A broadband trade association has said its members may introduce traffic management policies to cope with demand during the Olympics.

Internet service providers (ISPs) may consider implementing traffic management processes to cope with predicted high levels of demand for broadband connectivity during the Olympic Games, according to an industry body.

Businesses operating in London have been urged to allow staff to work from home during the international sporting event to reduce levels of congestion on the city's roads, but this move is set to have a knock-on effect on broadband networks.

The number of people planning to watch the Games online is also likely to place ISPs under strain, with research published last summer by InTechnology indicating that 28 per cent of Brits intend to use the internet to help them keep up with the action.

As a result, trade body the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) stressed that some of its members may utilise traffic management to cope with potentially unprecedented demand for bandwidth.

A spokesman for the ISPA told ZDNet UK that its affiliates have been investing in their broadband infrastructure in the run-up to the Olympics and are therefore confident they will be able to cope with the surge in data traffic.

However, he acknowledged: "There is the potential for a massive hit on the infrastructure due to the unprecedented amount of content available and devices to watch it on.

"Service providers are not expected to cap data use, but may use technology to manage the network at peak times to prevent access from stalling completely."

Despite the spokesman's warnings, O2, Orange and Virgin Media insisted they do not plan to introduce any additional measures to control usage, such as throttling or data caps.

Orange said its network will have "adequate capacity to cope with additional demand".

BT explained that it is expecting to see higher-than-average levels of usage throughout London 2012, but stated that it has been working to increase capacity and is consequently satisfied that it will not need to implement additional controls.

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